Union Rotorua & Union Rotoiti

Fred Wood
2nd August 2005, 12:02
What happened to the Union Rotorua and Union Rotoriti? I remember seeing them both frequently in Sydney in the late 80's. Does anyone have any good photos of them?

Jan Hendrik
3rd August 2005, 07:32
I attended several drydockings of both vessels in Newcastle at the time and I have some info available back home (currently holidaying).
I will try to find out more by mid Sept.

3rd August 2005, 07:53
Union Rotoiti is still in service on the Tasman as Rotoiti operated by CP Ships formerly ANZDL. Union Rotorua was plugged in to provide power to Auckland a few years back during a power crisis. After the stint as a power station she was withdrawn and sold. She was never reengined as the Rotoiti was. I recall the Union Rotorua was sold to Asian interests and is still in service somewhere.

Doug Rogers
3rd August 2005, 07:58
They certainly were frequent visitors to Oz shores, I seem to think that they were still around into the mid/late 90's..but I may be fooling myself...anyone got more information on when their plug was pulled??.

Dave Edge
5th August 2005, 06:47
"Rotorua", ex "Union Rotorua", sailed Auckland 13 May 1998 for Indian breakers but put into Singapore where her gas turbines, generators and electrical equipment were removed. She eventually arrived at Alang in tow of "Britoil" on 29 January 1999.

7th August 2005, 10:41
ROTOITI can still be seen at Sydney, although her time left in service must be running out.
Last time I saw her at Lyttelton about a year ago, (she doesn't call here anymore) she had a black hull with blue funnel and a black top, with a large white "A" on the blue.
Now registered in Nassau if I remember correctly.

20th August 2005, 09:53
The Rotoiti is operated by ANZDL/CP Ships & still calls at Auckland.

22nd October 2005, 01:08
In April 2005, CP Ships announced that they were to re-brand all its services under the CP Ships name and retire all the individual brand names by the end of the year. ANZDL was one of these and as a result, ROTOITI was renamed CP ROTOITI at Auckland on 13 August.

30th November 2005, 09:04
Check out the photo I have posted of Rotoiti in Sydney 11/11/05 in CP colours.

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 05:42
Hereby a photo which had been hanging on the wall (this particular actual one!!!) in the USSCO building in Melbourne, late 70's and 80's.
Actually this same picture was used in every Union Office in OZ and NZ.

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 05:47
Launched 10th Nov, 1976 in Whyalla.
Note the expensive bottle of bubblies which they crashed against the bow.
A very unique photo indeed.

Copyright photos: Kasper W.

22nd December 2005, 06:03
nice photos.did you get a photo of her stern in drydock or showing propellers?i dont have any of the stern out of the water.anyway nice photos

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 08:01
Matt, more photos to follow, also during new construction, but need more time,

Her sister here, just coming back from completion of sea trials near Whyalla, 29th Sept, 1976.

copyright pictures: Kasper W. (USSCo Whyalla at the time, later stationed in Melbourne also by USSCo)

22nd December 2005, 08:32
thats ok no worrys no rush with that.. (*))

22nd December 2005, 09:15
An interesting fact perhaps not generally known about the UNION ROTORUA is that she went to Singapore after her delivery on 5 October 1976 to have stabilizers fitted. She arrived there on 15 October going into Dock at Jurong Shipyard later the same day. She undocked on 31 October, underwent sea trials and sailed at 0110 on the 1 November. Her return trip was thwarted with problems and she diverted to Brisbane after a oil leak developed in the stern tube/propeller area on the 10 November. She was docked at Brisbane for repairs which lasted a week, after which she sailed for Sydney to take on her first cargo.

22nd December 2005, 09:17
yes that is interesting.wonder if her sister ship had them fitted?

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 09:21
Interesting story indeed, as far as I know both had them fitted. I even took photos when we applied the coatings as that was a bit tricky.
Photos....??where are they? Probably at the tip.

I will check whether Kasper still got some, we have to go through his photo albums, so waiting for a rainy day (don't say that should not take long as I live in Melbourne.......thought just rub this in before you come with statements of this kind)

22nd December 2005, 09:31
thanks.true hope they are not in a tip.but wellington martime museum still has them the archives.and might have been passed to the new zealand archives now.that was 5 years ago mind you.

22nd December 2005, 09:48
i am scanning a small plan that union company put out and the rotoiti.showing were the stabiliser fins are and stuff will be on the site in 5 mins (*))

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 10:39
Drydocking in Newcastle at the State Dockyard (later Forgacs) in 1980.

Photos by courtesy of Kasper W. , at the time resident engineer of USSCo.

On one of the photos you can see that they would have problems drawing the tailshaft for which purpose they hired a barge as a form of extension to the floating dock.

22nd December 2005, 10:42
nice photos to..do you ever drydocked the australian trader 1985-1997?who would have photos of her in dry dock.i have lots of her on the water just asking.

Jan Hendrik
22nd December 2005, 12:01
No, never attended a drydocking of her. Our company did not supply that vessel.

28th February 2006, 09:54
I have just seen the photos..exellent.......how big is the Hangar you store the photos in ? You are a constant source of amazement...Thank you

28th February 2006, 21:41
Posted another colour pic recently of Union Rotorua in drydock in Newcastle in 1987. WDM

Jan Hendrik
19th March 2006, 08:18
As is today in Melbourne 19th March. Note the orange funnel.

royal viking
19th April 2006, 08:21
does anyone remember captain stewart

19th April 2006, 23:12
hi shipmates,
Really good info on those 2 unique ships, and built downunder too !!
Many thanks
David D

royal viking
20th April 2006, 07:25
still wanting to know if anyone remembers captain stewart,...also has anyone seen any pictures of models of these ships,as i am currently building one 44 inches in length . i was lucky enough to go on board and look around the rotorua in auckland about 1985 when captain stewart was in command he to was from auckland

Jan Hendrik
20th April 2006, 08:33
Royal Viking.

I will be able to check on capt. Stewart sometime in May, will revert.
I will meet the person who has been involved with these ships contioniously.


royal viking
21st April 2006, 02:03
sounds interesting what is it all about,i wonder how long the rotoiti will continue on for .....does anyone know please

21st April 2006, 12:50
She'll be 29 this year, but had new engines to replace the expensive gas turbines in 1983, so probably good for a few miles yet.

royal viking
21st April 2006, 23:00
i am currently building a model of the union rotorua...can anyone tell me the name of the green used on the hull...HELP

21st April 2006, 23:32
i am making a ussco model of tev rangitira are you in aussie???there is a test pot of paint at bunnings named arcala green from dulux or from the model shop tamiya olive green which is a matt colour .cheers matt

royal viking
21st April 2006, 23:35
thanks for that i will check it out....wonder what the real union color was called

21st April 2006, 23:36
true i would love to know myself.do you have plans for these ships.i have some but they are not good i got them copied.years ago.i might work on union rotoma or seaway prince not sure yet.cheers matt

royal viking
21st April 2006, 23:39
the model i am building is 44 inches in length,so a good size ,i am in auckland...will see the rotoiti tommorrow when she arrives turns up every fortnight

21st April 2006, 23:40
cool i am ex chch and now in sydney.go to acorn models and they have the paint there i use to use them in chch when i was there.the model i might do of seaway prince might be scale 1/100 or 1/8foot.big (Thumb)

royal viking
21st April 2006, 23:43
i was lucky enough to go on board union rotorua in the 80s for a good look around...you to must see the rotoiti some times when she is in sydney

Jan Hendrik
22nd April 2006, 01:23
The paint they used was British Standard green 223.
The yellow line was B.S. yellow 356.
I still know these numbers by heart.
We removed the yellow line later (supt and I decided this together) due to costs.

During the dockings of these vessels I (my company) supplied all coatings for bottompaints and topsides, the latter was coated with a solvent borne acrylic system, 70 percent gloss in the above colour.
The maintenance (not the docking paints) for the smaller vessels was done by Resene Coatings in New Zealand, actually a house paint manufacturer but USS wanted to support a local NZ manufacturer and there was none with marine paints at the time.
The paint code number by Resene I do not know; their quality was an alkyd enamel which usually has a gloss factor of 90 percent.
(ask Rick, sales manager of Altex Coatings which is now the marine division of Resene and he works from the head office in Tauranga, he is an old timer and would be the only one to remember).

For your model(s) I suggest you use a semi gloss or sheen which probably looks more attractive, however, this is only a personal opinion.

Unfortunately if you go to a paint shop and ask for BS 223, the person there would not have a clue as it is only used in the professional arena , besides it is based on an earlier British Standard series which is no longer used.
I will check the equivalent in RAL (German standard) which is more common these days, but cannot get back to you until next week-end due to my trip to the home country of USS tomorrow (Christchurch and Auckland).

22nd April 2006, 03:02
Jan, why does your answer not surprise me??? (Thumb)

royal viking
22nd April 2006, 07:26
thanks for that i look forward to hearing back from you....i really want the right color for the hull.....cheers

22nd April 2006, 07:35
yes me to for when i do more ussco models. (*))

royal viking
26th April 2006, 01:57
can anybody tell me if they have ever seen a model of rotorua or rotoiti

26th April 2006, 02:00
Never seen it, but at least one exists - I think the 'UNION ROTORUA". I have a magazine featuring it, so I'll hunt it out and get back to you.

royal viking
26th April 2006, 02:46
thanks mate i would love to see it

26th April 2006, 03:04
Okay, here it is - the UNION ROTORUA.
Photo from "Under Way", the house magazine of Union SS Company, June 1982.

royal viking
26th April 2006, 03:12
fantastic mate...looks like wahine in there to

26th April 2006, 03:18
Yep, you're right. Pleased you enjoyed the photo.

royal viking
26th April 2006, 03:25
just great my model will be half the size again...my garage is a mess and just loveing it i am always looking out for new pics but can't find alot

royal viking
26th April 2006, 03:27
by the way david what was the story that went with the picture

26th April 2006, 07:04
yes i have 2 colour photos i took of the model when i was at the martime museum of wellington store about 4 years ago will post the pic of it no worrys cheers matt.done added to the model gallery.

royal viking
26th April 2006, 08:07
fantastic mate she looks great ...they are not there now i wonder what happened to them i was on a cruise and called into wellington and went to that muesum ....gone..and as for the auckland maritime muesum they have nothing as far as ship models go just lots of canoes

26th April 2006, 08:55
hello,the models are in storeage all far as i know that was when i left to come to australia 3 years ago allmost.its a shame all the models are still out in the martime museum of wellington store.gathering dust i think.

Jan Hendrik
27th April 2006, 18:01
Got some further info on the colours.

BS 223 Middle Bronze Green, indeed is the correct colour and is from British Standard series 4800 - 381C.
There are some more B.S. colourcards but above was the original one.
B.S. series 5252 has a colour which comes very close: 12C39.
The Aus Standard has colour Rainforest G15 to be closest.

Hope above is helpful.

p.s. if you are desperate to physically see the colours, then I can give an address in Auckland and one in Melbourne.

royal viking
27th April 2006, 22:32
cheers for that if you have an auckland address.....and in auckland what do i ask for....thanks again

Jan Hendrik
28th April 2006, 03:12
I will send you a PM

I just got home back from a week NZ, had this mornings 6 am Auckland to Melbourne flight, saw the colour yesterday.

Jan Hendrik
28th April 2006, 06:22
Geoff, I received an email from the ex resident supt of USS confirming he knows capt. Stewert very well.
As this friend is currently in Europe I will get back to you after 5th May.

16th July 2006, 04:05
Rotoiti docked in Auckland a few days ago (16JUL) - sadly her livery is drab compared to USSco but profile still unique compared with other ships in port

17th July 2006, 08:47
I have heard through the grapevine that Rotoiti will be leaving the Transtasman run towards the end of year.

Jan Hendrik
29th November 2006, 02:37
Here is the dramatic end of a vessel which served the Tasman run for 30 years.
This week in Melbourne I witnessed her unloading the very last cargo.
A name change took place on 28th Nov at Station Pier.

From UNION ROTOITI built in Whyalla 1976, to CP ROTOITI, then to ROTOITI and finally receiving the odd name GULF STRAIT.
She leaves for Dubai around Dec 2nd for a refit.
The new Owners purchased the vessel from Anglo Eastern (on timecharter to Hapag Lloyd).
The new company is to be called REDWISE of The Netherlands.
For the moment she has been saved from the scrapyard.
I include some photos which were partly taken at Webb Dock and partly on Station Pier.

Jan Hendrik
29th November 2006, 02:47
Some more photos.
On Starboard side the vessel was temporarily called GULF ROTOITI, I thought that would have been a good name in order to keep the tradition.
This name only lasted less than one hour though.

The flag was changed from Bermuda to Jamaica.

Jan Hendrik
29th November 2006, 02:54
Some photos taken on board, one with the Westgate bridge in the background (getting late), one over the bridge with the Spirit of Tasmania just leaving port and one to show the mighty 3 engines.

30th November 2006, 19:52
i was talking to my brother in law last week about these two ships he sailed on them as mate not to long ago he lives in new zealand his name is PETER TATE and he told me thay had been sold and maybe for scrap sam

Jan Hendrik
30th November 2006, 22:24
Union Rotorua has already been scrapped. They removed the gas turbine engine in Singapore first which is most likely used elsewhere (ashore).
The Union Rotoiti which has now been renamed to Gulf Strait had been re-engined a while ago and now has a diesel engine, she has few more years life left but leaves the shores of OZ and NZ for good this week-end as already mentioned.
I visited the ship Mondaynight this week, the last day as ROTOITI and we gathered at the officer's bar wishing the vessel the very best under her new name.

4th December 2006, 08:47
It seems the new crew may only be a temporary one!! Do a search on the internet for Redwise and you will come across their website. Redwise is the world’s no. 1 ship delivery specialist. they’ll deliver any ship, as long as it is seaworthy and able to sail on its own keel, under its own power.

4th December 2006, 09:12
According to the Port of Melbourne website, she departed from there on Saturday 2 December at 1354hrs for Dubai.

Jan Hendrik
4th December 2006, 10:25
Redwise is as I was informed is an offshoot from Wijsmuller (pronounced Wisemuller!!!), the Red came from somewhere else.
Four Managers ex Wijsmuller (prior to the Svitzer era and now Maersk) started Redwise.
I went back to Station Pier Friday as had hoped they would have painted the funnel, not so.......

8th March 2010, 09:56
I've only recently joined Ships Nostalgia & thought there maybe some interest in these pics of the ships being built in about 1976/77. Rotoiti was at the fitting-out wharf & Rotorua was ready to launch.

I was a Shipbuilding Technician for the Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works (part of BHP) & worked extensively on both these ships. I saw them in a couple of times in service, including the last time in Wellington harbour in 1990.

Jan Hendrik
8th March 2010, 10:35
Greeny, you must have worked alongside with my friend Kasper.
You find him here behind the bar and I took this photo on the very last night the ROTOITI was in Melbourne.
Having a drink with the new Russian officers who were sailing the vessel to the beaches......